Social Work Essentials 1: A Social Worker’s Go-Bag

As I sat down and thought about different items social workers may need, my mind automatically went in the direction of child welfare workers and home visitations. This go-bag of sorts, as implied in the name, is the bag for the social workers that find themselves rushed, overwhelmed, and running out one door to head to another. For workers in this predicament, or students such as myself, that aspire to reach the in-field flurry, the list below will provide helpful hints and suggestions that may make this racing occupation slightly easier to handle. Enjoy!

  1. A phone charger. This can be your regular wall plug-in, or a portable phone charger.
  2. A laptop or tablet with a charger.
  3. Set of headphones . Can be especially useful when equipped with the attached microphone.
  4. Pepper spray or some form of protection.
  5. An extra change of clothes and shoes. This could include a professional set, casual items, or a nice in-between look. Also include an extra pair of socks.
  6. Spare notebooks and pens.
  7. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.
  8. Your planner or calendar.
  9. A small First Aid Kit that includes band-aids and Neosporin.
  10. A small makeup bag – if you’re into that – accompanied by makeup remover wipes.
  11. Toiletries including: Deodorant, perfume, travel size toothbrush and toothpaste, hair brush or comb, and hair ties.
  12. A small container or baggie of office supplies including: Paperclips, binder clips, white out, sticky notes, and a clipboard.
  13. Latex gloves and other outer protective gear.
  14. Any necessary files and paperwork.


As you read through this list of items to have in your social worker go-bag, I hope it assisted in triggering other thoughts and ideas for such a bag. May these items continue to help you as you strive to be the best practicing social worker I know we all can become!



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